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First Aid Kits for Parents – what do you really need?

Whether you have a new baby or kids in primary and high school, it is essential that you have an appropriate first aid kit in case in your home and/or car.

First Aid Kits – the Essentials for Families

What do you REALLY need in a First Aid Kit for your Family

Susan Teerds, CEO of Kidsafe writes for us:

Firstly I recommend that every parent undertake a first aid course and learn CPR by practicing CPR on a baby or toddler mannequin. Every first aid kit should include a first aid reference guide including a reminder on performing CPR and emergency numbers e.g. emergency services 000, poisons information centre 13 11 26 and 13 HEALTH (13 43 25 84).

Commonly children will get bites and stings, grazes, sore eyes, sprains and vomit but your first aid kit should also be prepared for more serious injuries like snake bite and scalds. Some items can be purchased at the supermarket and you can also buy online from St John Ambulance. Obviously a first aid kit can be purchased and you can add extra items or you can purchase a suitable bag and fill it yourself. Keep one in the car and, if possible, keep another at home. In any first aid kit there will be a range of items that are choking hazards and/or sharp and unsuitable for children to access. So keep your first aid kit away from little children. Here is my list of must have items:

1 x Instructions for providing first aid – including cardio-pulmonary resuscitation (CPR) flow chart


1 x Adhesive strips (assorted sizes) for minor wound dressing

10 x Splinter probes (single use, disposable)

1 x Roll non-allergenic adhesive tape for securing dressings and strapping

3 x Eye pads for emergency eye cover

4 x Triangular bandage for slings, support and/or padding


1 x 15cm Heavy crepe bandage for snake bite

1 x 10cm Heavy crepe bandage for snake bite

2 x 5cm Hospital crepe or conforming bandage to hold dressings in place

2 x 10cm Hospital crepe or conforming bandage to hold dressings in place

1 x 10cm Combine dressings to control bleeding and for covering wounds

1 x 20cm Combine dressings to control bleeding and for covering wounds

4 x Non-adhesive dressings for wound dressing

1 x Safety pins to secure bandages and slings

1 x Scissors for cutting dressings or clothing

1 x Small dressings’ bowl for holding liquids, dressings and instruments

4 x Gauze squares for cleaning wounds

1 x Forceps/tweezers for removing foreign bodies

3 x Pr disposable nitrile, latex or vinyl gloves for infection control

1 x Sharps disposal container for infection control and disposal purposes

6 x Sterile saline solution or sterile water for emergency eye wash or for irrigating eye wounds. This saline solution must be discarded after opening

1 x Resuscitation mask to be used by qualified personnel for resuscitation purposes


1 x Antiseptic solution or spray for cleaning wounds and skin

3 x Plastic zip lock bags for waste disposal

1 x Note pad and pen/pencil for recording the injured or ill person’s condition and treatment given

1 x Instant ice-pack for the management of strains, sprains and bruises.

2 x Vomit bags for vomiting

1 x Large adhesive dressing for major wounds

6 x Burnaid sachets for small minor burns only

1 x Tube after-sun soothing gel for mild sunburn

1 x Cling wrap for burns after running cold water over the burn for 20 minutes

1 x Stingoes or similar product to relive the itch and pain of bites

12 x Antiseptic / would cleansing wipes for cleaning dirty wounds

1 x Pkt 10 butterfly strips for small incisions

1 x Emergency shock blanket for cold / hypothermia


1 x Hand sanitiser for your hygiene

My first aid kit also contains an Epipen and a Ventolin spray, small packets of tissues and baby wipes. If you decide to include an Epipen and a Ventolin spray, I recommend that you undertake specific training in relation to the treatment of Asthma and Anaphylaxis.

Susan Teerds is the CEO of Kidsafe Queensland Inc      

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Janine Mergler

Janine Mergler is a veteran Queensland teacher, graduating from QUT with a BEd majoring in Social Sciences. After many years in the classroom, Janine moved on to academia. She has proudly trained new generations of teachers in her role as a lecturer at Queensland University of Technology Faculty of Education. She has also worked in the Queensland Government as an education specialist, developing education resources and delivering community awareness programs to help families conserve water. Currently she is the owner and editor of Families Magazine, a publication specifically targeted at parents who value a quality education for children.  Janine leads a team of professionals who write about family lifestyle, early childhood, schools and education information and family-friendly events.

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